Molson Coors Beverage Co. reports net sales rose 4.1% (7% constant currency) to $10.7 billion. The company recorded a net loss of $175.3 million; a year earlier it posted a profit on $1 billion, or $4.62 a share.
It attributed the sales gain to positive net pricing and a favorable sales mix, a result of portfolio premiumization and favorable channel mix.
It noted that "for the first time in more than a decade, Molson Coors Beverage Company grew both revenue and underlying pre-tax income in its 2022 fiscal year, an achievement executives lauded as the product of three years of work under a revitalization plan that set out clear long-term goals for the business."
Buoyed by sustained strong performance among its core brands — Coors Light and Miller Lite turned in their strongest combined full-year dollar share performance in a decade — and surging success of its above-premium portfolio, the company is “healthier today than it has been in many years, and our trajectory is strong,” said Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley.
“Our 2022 results are not an aberration or a moment in time but a product of three years of work under our revitalization plan,” he said. “And it is a milestone on our path to delivering sustainable growth, year after year."
Molson Coors has aggressively focused on growing its stable of above-premium brands, which today account for more than 28% of its global net sales revenue, up from 23% in 2019.
In addition to its expanding hard seltzer portfolio, the company has built momentum behind a portfolio of above-premium beer and beyond-beer brands across its global footprint. No more so, perhaps, than in the U.S. — its biggest market.
In 2022, the Italian import Peroni grew revenue double digits in the U.S. compared with pre-pandemic 2019, and the Blue Moon family of brands also booked higher revenue last year versus 2019.
Simply Spiked Lemonade, which Molson Coors launched last summer in partnership with Coca-Cola Company, was the fastest-growing new innovation in the U.S. flavored alcohol beverage category and is poised to grow in 2023.
Molson Coors’ Canadian craft division grew brand volume double digits in 2022, and its collection of hard seltzers finished the year as the only hard seltzer portfolio gaining industry share in Canada.
But the standout star globally is Madri Excepcional, a light-bodied lager that has taken the U.K. beer market by storm. In less than two years on the market, Madri has become one of Molson Coors’ top five above-premium brands globally, Hattersley said.
Growing beyond the beer aisle
Diversifying beyond beer remains a focus.
Molson Coors’ biggest play in the space, ZOA, posted triple-digit brand volume growth in the fourth quarter and the full year, with trends accelerating in the fourth quarter. Redesigned packaging and retail programming aim to expand sales and build momentum even more in 2023.
The company’s first full-strength spirit, Five Trail Whiskey, continues to expand into more states and select international markets.
And Topo Chico Spirited – a line of ready-to-drink beverages made with real spirits and another product of Molson Coors’ relationship with The Coca-Cola Company — is slated to roll out to select markets this spring in a volley to grab a share of the fast-growing ready-to-drink cocktail space.
Navigating an uncertain 2023
Hattersley said the company “sees reasons for caution about the consumer landscape in the immediate term — not just for beer, but for consumer goods more broadly.”
Value-conscious consumers in the U.S. are trading down into smaller pack sizes. But while beer volumes have softened, beer still maintains its share of consumers’ total retail spend and gained share of total alcohol beverage in the quarter, projecting some optimism, Hattersley said.
“Even in this challenging and uncertain economic climate, we expect to deliver… by achieving top- and bottom-line growth, with margin improvement, on a consistent, long-term basis,” he said. “Our portfolio is strategically built for strength across the range of pricing tiers within the beer industry. That gives us greater stability than some of our competitors in any economic climate.”